Early 2020 saw us traveling, shopping, and enjoying our meals in the most talked-about places. After all, these activities were just an inconsequential part of our everyday experiences.
That is, until the pandemic came along. We all know it full well now, and to say that COVID-19 caused a bit of a stir is a huge understatement. Around the globe, businesses of all sizes had to make big, critical choices almost overnight.
As the world saw deserted streets and empty shops behind the safety of their screens; the restaurant, transportation, and travel industries struggled with sweeping, monumental realities. Some knew these transformations were down the road, but most weren’t even expecting them to occur at this point in time.
Much has changed this 2021—and these industries are forever altered.
One of the most hard-hit by the pandemic is the food service industry, particularly restaurants. Some full-service restaurants managed to depend on and discover a way to make their multi-course meals available for delivery. Many quick-serve and fast-food restaurants also developed delivery and drive-thru channels.
Digital solutions that helped restaurants lighten customer safety fears and comply with restrictions boomed, and technology providers scrambled to offer new products to get restaurants on board. Technologies like digital menus, QR codes, contactless ordering, and payment at the table suddenly became the norm.
Trending ideas like virtual restaurants, ghost kitchens, and delivery-first brands went from unusual ideas on the horizon to caption discussions as the industry looked for ways to adapt and survive.
What we saw less of was the fun stuff like robotic cooks and waiters, AI-powered ordering systems, and drone delivery as the industry focused on getting through a tough year.
The smart money is on a strong growth trajectory in the first quarter of 2021. Experts are predicting 20% to 25% growth compared to last year, according to this report. However, they also see a decline from 2019 figures, saying that it will take a few years to return to pre-pandemic numbers.
Consumers are embracing online ordering, as well as curbside pickup and delivery. Diners are looking forward to returning to normality, too. Restaurants, if they didn’t realize it already, have seen firsthand the need to invest in technology, or be left behind. It goes without saying that technology is going to play a huge part in the restaurant industry recovery1.
Online shopping and food delivery were on a slow and steady rise for years, but it was the COVID-19 pandemic that forced businesses and consumers to jump on the digital and mobile bandwagons even more quickly than predicted.
The pandemic presented some of our time’s biggest challenges, spanning all-encompassing innovations across various E-commerce and transportation functions. Here’s what you can expect to see more of in 2021:
Given consumer behavior, enduring purchasing habits, and strong technology trends, delivery and takeout, in general, continue to be important in 2021. For businesses to thrive in this landscape, they have to have the pulse on consumer demand and see how it drastically transformed the way restaurateurs think about delivery over the last year—and how all these will affect their future.
What ultimately binds all these trends is customer experience, and the vital role it plays in businesses when it comes to handling historical, global curveballs while keeping pace with everyday challenges. TaskUs’s partnership with on-demand food delivery companies indicates that an efficient customer care strategy can provide a distinctive experience that will help companies build a loyal customer base that will tide them over during these tough times—and even help them thrive.
By incorporating vigorous training, cutting-edge tools, and hard-earned learnings, TaskUs can support these clients, and help them build customer loyalty and trust, even in the face of uncertainty.